Today, I’m bending the ‘seasonal produce’ rule.. but all for a good reason.
Grapefruit and rhubarb grow in different seasons, but are amazingly delicious when paired together. Admittedly, when we did my first taste test, we were somewhat impressed by the combination of flavours. But once we dolloped a spoonful onto some buttered toast, we were blown away…delicious!!
Having a bumper crop of backyard grapefruit has allowed us to experiment with a few recipes. So far… this is our favourite one.
What you will need:
1 bunch rhubarb (approx 600g cleaned stems)
2 large grapefruit
250g strawberries (optional) hulled and quartered
How to prepare:
Begin by preparing the grapefruit zest. You can do this in various ways, either using a vegetable peeler to peel the fruit and then slice the peel finely. Alternatively, you can use a micro plane, or a citrus zester . We opted for the zester because we like the long threads it produces, and we are keen to leave the grapefruit pith behind (which is hard to do with a vegetable peeler).
Juice the fruit. Remove the seeds from the juice (if any) and wrap them in a piece of muslin. Tie with a piece of kitchen cotton to prevent the seeds escaping into the jam during the cooking process. If you have grapefruit pulp on the juicer, add that to the juice.
Chop the rhubarb into 2cm pieces and combine with all the other ingredients in a large bowl. Allow to macerate for at least an hour, or overnight.
Transfer the ingredients into a pot. Bring to the boil. Allow to simmer gently for an hour or so. You will need to stir the Conserve occasionally to prevent it from sticking to the bottom.
Use the plate test to check that your preserve is ready. Because this recipe is low in sugar, you will find that it does not set as firmly as commercially produced jams, having a softer consistency.
Remove the muslin bag. Pour into hot sterilised jars and seal.
Note: Once opened, the conserve will keep for 2 – 3 weeks in the refrigerator. If you want your conserve to keep for longer, increase the amount of sugar (up to 1kg for this recipe).